Housing Australia’s Talent

15 May 2023

Housing is an essential underpinning of society. As a nation, we must ensure there are sufficient dwellings to address the needs of every resident. Business is directly involved in the housing market through the provision of new supply, and it also has a deep interest in ensuring the availability of well- located, well-serviced and reasonably priced residences for their staff.

A lack of sufficient housing has meant people are less able to move to more desirable places of work in higher paying jobs. And yet the number of new dwellings being built in Australia has been falling since 2016-17.

New dwelling approvals are now at a decade low. There is no point creating innovative and interesting jobs if workers are unable to find suitable and affordable housing as they move to new locations to take up these opportunities. This is also a drag on national economic performance as it constrains the productive capacity of some of Australia's more productive areas.

Without reasonably priced and suitable housing, the nation risks driving away the best talent, limiting our economic growth, and ultimately at risk. This is an issue of national importance.

In the debate on housing and its intersection with migration, it is important to understand how critical migration is to the success of Australia. Work commissioned by the Business Council, as well as from the Productivity Commission and the Treasury, point to the fact that migration delivers substantial economic and fiscal dividends for the nation. It helps fill skills gaps in our economy, offsets our otherwise aging population, and brings the knowledge and experience needed to support the growth of future industries.

Stopping or dramatically reducing new migrants into the country will be to the detriment of everyone and is counterproductive to creating a stronger economy and society. cumulative migration figures are still well below pre-pandemic forecasts.

Read the full paper here: Housing Australia's Talent

Read our research on worker shortages and migration here


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